Xavier de Soultrait has won the first stage in the motorcycle category, although its leadership has been fleeting after result in a sanction of a minute in the stretch of link not to open the track for the second day. All in all, the frenchman was satisfied with his first stage victory on the Dakar: “I have attacked well. Ivan Jakes has left me to spend. It seems that the speed I have, because it has been a day of pure speed. To win a stage of the Dakar is incredible, and it is a big step, but my ultimate goal is to win the Dakar. When the pieces of the puzzle will fit, you will see a picture. Yamaha has given me a second chance and I hope to be at the height”.
Joan Barreda has finished in the top ten of the motorcycle category, despite having a little scare during the stage: “I’m happy because I had a complicated stage and I have been able to save wasting little time. I am well placed for tomorrow. It was a good stage for me, but it has been complicated at kilometer 21. The bike I have been stopped in an area of lots of water. Take a couple of minutes to re-start the engine and I lost a little time. I lost a little more time behind a pilot, but the pace has been very good, and the sensations also, but I didn’t expect that problem”.
Ignacio Casale was conservative and not fought for the victory in the quad category, as he himself has recognized: “it Was a stage quiet, with a lot of heat. I would imagine that if this stage had had 300 or 400 miles would have been a hell. Luckily, I was only 39 miles and now we move to Argentina. I walked quietly, without running risks. The route had many ditches hidden where I could have an accident, so we decided to take things in stride. It’s so hot and I think that’s going to be a Dakar too entretenido”.
Nasser Al-Attiyah I was also satisfied with his win, although his face was very different after the engine problems in his Toyota Hilux V8, presumably by an oil leak: “I caught Peterhansel pretty fast, but a few kilometers from goal I started to smell smoke and I’ve even seen a little bit of fire. We have reduced the speed to finish the stage and we were able to turn it off. I have No idea what has happened, I hope it is not anything of the engine, because we lost the oil. The best time, just the same, what worries me is fixing the car“.
Xevi Pons, which can also be penalized for excessive speed in the link, explained at the end of the stage timed: “I Was very tired because I’ve been with fever the past few days, so I can’t help but be happy with the result. Second behind Nasser Al-Attiyah, is like a dream. Know that today you could attack, but my goal is to finish the rally among the first fifteen, so now you touch down a little the revs. I do Not intend to attack in depth, as I have done today, every day“.
Gerard de Rooy, who ended fifth in the truck category, was also one of the pilots suffered their first poblemas: “The special has gone well, with the exception of the last kilometre,
when we noticed that it warmed the truck behind, at the level of the
brakes, until it caught fire. Has happened to us in the last 500 meters,
but you have to be very lucky to win the Dakar. I think, however, that
we achieved a good time. We are waiting for
to reach the longest stages, and also the higher altitude, as
should be favorable”.